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Watering restrictions now in effect

June 17, 2019 -

With recent heavy and frequent rain falls, residents may not be thinking about watering lawns and gardens. But, with drier months ahead, Utilities Kingston wants the community to be aware that seasonal watering restrictions are in effect from June 15 to Sept. 15. During this time, residents and businesses with odd-numbered addresses may water on odd-numbered days, while evens may water on even-numbered days.

This precaution is in place to ensure reliable supply for adequate water reserves and pressure, and fire protection. It also helps manage the need to expand water treatment infrastructure.

The City of Kingston's Water Bylaw allows residents and businesses to:

  • Use a hand-held hose, can or bucket any time on their scheduled day
  • Use a sprinkler between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. on their scheduled day
  • Use water from their rain barrel anytime!

Julie Runions, Manager of Water and Wastewater Treatment explains: "While rains have been heavy and frequent, drier months are ahead. Water and wastewater treatment infrastructure is built to handle peak demand times. During summer months, we use the most treated water from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reducing use during these times delays the need to expand pumping stations and treatment facilities, while also ensuring adequate supply for fire protection. "

Reducing outdoor water use also reduces the pollutants that end up in the lake. This is because much of the water from sprinklers and hoses (such as, from washing cars) runs off into the storm sewer, picking up pollutants that end up in Lake Ontario, Kingston's source of drinking water. 

Residents and businesses are encouraged to practice water-wise gardening to make every rain drop count. Using a rain barrel, following best watering practices, amending soil with organic content, and incorporating drought tolerant plants are just some of the sustainable practices that help reduce treated water use – all with beautiful results.

Take a free tour of the Utilities Kingston Water Conservation Garden at 1211 John Counter Blvd., participate in a free Everything Drainage workshop, or check out online resources. Utilities Kingston's conservation team is here to help, just call 613-546-0000 and say ‘conservation'.

Sometimes new yards, shrubs and trees need water at times outside the schedule and that's why Utilities Kingston offers exemption permits. Visit www.utilitieskingston.com to learn more about exemption permits, how to conserve water and money, and when you can use outdoor treated water. The web resource is complete with a dynamic indicator that explains when residents and businesses can use hoses versus sprinkling devices, as well as many resources on water wise gardening.